- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Parish school boards and state government won’t have to come up with larger-than-expected contributions to fund pension plans for their employees in the next budget year.

An actuarial committee for the state’s public retirement systems sidelined proposals Tuesday that would have caused large increases in the payments for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1gy1mGT ) the proposals would have forced school boards to contribute $100 million more than anticipated and the state an extra $40 million.

The recommendations for larger increases came from the legislative actuary as he looked at the financial health of the pension plans, which have multibillion-dollar long-term debts.

But the committee instead opted to adopt evaluations proposed by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana and the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System. Those numbers have been used in state government and school board budgeting.

“State agencies and school boards already prepared their budgets for the upcoming year. They prepared them based on the only evaluation that they had,” said Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas. He said changes would require “cuts in line items, employee cuts, pay increase proposals would have to be canned, layoffs. The word chaos would not be inappropriate.”

The legislative actuary took a more conservative approach to his estimates of investment earnings than the retirement systems’ analyst. The difference would have resulted in higher employer contributions being required under the legislative actuary’s plan.

Under state law, the actuarial committee adopts the annual required contributions to the state employee and teachers retirement systems. It considers analysis done by both the systems and Legislature’s analysts.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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